Best bets for UFC Fight Night: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane


Yet another main event between top 10 heavyweights, and the winner will be in a small circle of contenders who have put together impressive win streaks. But first, one of these guys has to survive the other, which is no easy task in this weight class. And outside the main event, it's a fairly deep card for fans, with plenty of value to find further down the card.

Prelims begin at 5 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+, and the main card starts at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

Odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.

Heavyweight main event: No. 7 Ciryl Gane (-280) vs. No. 4 Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+230)

Tale Of The Tape

Last fight weight class Heavyweight Heavyweight
Age 30 33
Height 76 76
Reach 81 78
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Analyzed minutes 34 41
Stand-up striking offense
Total knockdown ratio (scored:received) 2:0 5:1
Distance knockdown rate 2.1% 8.3%
Head jab accuracy 35% 27%
Head power accuracy 35% 37%
Total stand-up strike ratio 1.2 1.6
Striking defense
Total head strike defense 86% 59%
Distance knockdown defense ("Chin") 100% 97%
Wrestling and grappling
TD attempts per min standing/clinch 0.16 0.00
Takedown accuracy 60% NA
Advances per takedown/top control 0.7 0.0
Opponent takedown attempts 2 16
Takedown defense 100% 75%
Share of total ground time in control 96% 7%
Submission attempts per trip to ground 0.67 0.00
Yet another heavyweight matchup that could be over at any moment. Unlike last week when there was a sharp contrast in fighting styles between heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes, this matchup will pair two highly competent power strikers. Both men have professional bouts in striking arts outside of MMA, and both prefer to stand and trade. The one caveat is that Gane has also been dangerous on the ground, despite not often taking opponents there. But we'll get to that.

The fight has to start at a distance, and these big guys will once again make the small cage of the APEX Arena seem extra tiny. While they both employ a mediocre average pace of activity at a distance, they both tend to outwork opponents, meaning they're not afraid to initiate. They also have similar strike accuracy, and both favor power strikes two-to-one compared to jabs.

There are two key difference in their striking metrics. First, the power edge must go to Rozenstruik, who has racked up more knockdowns, and done so at an abnormally high success rate. Gane, in contrast, has fewer knockdowns, and scored them at a more average rate. However, in the other key difference, Gane gets a strong edge in terms of striking defense. Gane's defense is very good, while Rozenstruik's is poor. These factors combine for a tricky tradeoff: Rozenstruik is more dangerous, but also more susceptible to getting caught.

The wild card here is the ground game of Gane. While he's only landed three of five takedown attempts through his four UFC appearances, he turned two of those into successful submission finishes. This is surprising, both because these are heavyweights who don't normally finish by submission, and because Gane's roots are as a striker.

Rozenstruik has the better strength of schedule to date, but Gane has several paths to victory, and probably also gets a cardio edge that could open up opportunities after the early rounds. But having seen a single punch alter the path of a heavyweight main event just last week, we're reminded that a fighter can be clearly winning right up to the point they are rendered unconscious. Similar dynamics are at play in this matchup.

E+ recommends: Fight does not go the distance. Money-line lean on Gane.

Best bets elsewhere on the card

The most dangerous striker on the card (statistically speaking), isn't even one of the men in the main event. It's co-main event Light Heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev. He's scored five knockdowns in the UFC, tied with Rozenstruik, but Ankalaev has done so at a slightly more efficient rate.

Combining his technical striking against the porous strike defense of his opponent, Nikita Krylov, could lead to another violent finish on the feet. On the other hand, Krylov is known for sudden finishes of his own, win or lose, and is more successful with submissions. He made it to his 31st career MMA fight before ever hearing the judges' scorecards.

E+ recommends: Money-line play on Ankalaev. Fight does not go the distance.

For an even or better return on odds, consider Flyweight Montana de la Rosa on the undercard, taking on Mayra Bueno Silva. Both women have scored armbar finishes, but De La Rosa has shown better grappling control. If she can stay out of submissions, she can win rounds with dominant control in the clinch and on the ground, assuming the distance standup is close.

E+ recommends: Money-line play on De La Rosa.